In his famous
book, Darwin stated that the idea of evolution was well understood by
many others before his time. He reviewed the evidence that geologists
and biologists had presented over many preceding decades.
What was new was Darwin's explanation that natural
selection caused evolution. The basic idea was that the
niches provided by Nature preferentially selected those emerging
life forms that had inheritable traits that made them adapted to live in those niches.
Here, we show the value of camouflage, an
adaptation that allows the fish to hide safely among the coral.
See the fish to the lower right of the yellow fish? It is in the
middle of the picture.
The essence of
Natural Selection can be summarized as follows:
- Individuals in
a population are genetically varied
produces many more offspring than are needed for a species to
- The genetic
traits that are passed on to new generations are those that are best
adapted to the available niches.
- As each
generation reproduces, the
incidence of the favorable traits gradually increases and comes to dominate
the population. That population may become genetically isolated,
thus forming a new